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Julie Hambleton
Julie Hambleton
October 13, 2023 ·  4 min read

Dermatologist Reveals 3 Places You Must Wash To Avoid Life-Threatening Infections

Maintaining proper skin hygiene is crucial for overall health and well-being. The skin acts as a protective barrier against external pathogens and pollutants. However, neglecting certain areas can lead to the development of harmful infections. A dermatologist on TikTok posted a video about three areas people miss when washing that could gravely affect their health. These are the ones you shouldn’t miss.

Skin Hygiene: Dermatologist Reveals 3 Places You Absolutely Must Wash to Avoid Life-Threatening Infections

Dermatologist Dr. Lindsey Zubritsky, also known as @Dermguru on Tiktok and Instagram, recently posted a video talking about skincare. Specifically, she spoke about the three areas people miss when washing that could gravely affect their health. These are the ones you shouldn’t miss. (1)

1. Behind the Ears: A Breeding Ground for Bacteria

The area behind our ears is warm and often covered by hair, making it an ideal environment for bacterial growth. Due to the hidden nature of this area, it is frequently neglected during everyday cleansing routines. Failing to clean behind the ears regularly can accumulate sweat, dirt, and oil, creating an environment conducive to bacterial and fungal infections.

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A post shared by Lindsey Zubritsky, MD, FAAD (@dermguru)

About washing behind the ears, Lindsey said, “You notice an odor to it or you feel something you should be washing it more,” Not washing there, she says, can lead to dermatitis due to a build-up of dandruff, sebum, other hair, and materials from the hair.

To effectively clean behind the ears, use a mild soap or cleanser and warm water. Gently scrub the area with your fingertips, ensuring you reach the crevices. Rinse thoroughly and pat dry with a clean towel. Remember to pay attention to this often-ignored region to avoid the development of skin infections.

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2. The Belly Button: A Forgotten Oasis for Bacteria

The belly button is a small, yet significant body part that requires consistent cleaning. It is a warm and moist area, prone to collecting sweat, dead skin cells, and bacteria. Its shape, depth, and natural folds make it challenging to clean thoroughly.

Neglecting to maintain proper hygiene in the belly button can result in infections such as yeast infections, bacterial overgrowth, and even potential long-term complications like naval stones. To prevent these issues, it is essential to clean the belly button regularly. “In fact, if you’re not cleaning it enough, you’ll have so much debris and dirt in there that you’ll develop a navel stone,” she explained.

@dermguru Part ✌️ : and be sure to dry in between your toes to prevent fungus (separate them and individually dry!) #hygiene #hygienetips #dermguru #showertok #showertips #footfungus #howtoshower ♬ So Fresh, So Clean (Instrumental) – Outkast

Start by moistening a cotton swab or washcloth with warm water. Gently rub in circular motions around the belly button, ensuring the entire area is thoroughly cleaned. Avoid using harsh chemicals or excessive force, as it can damage the delicate skin around the belly button. Once cleaned, pat the area dry to prevent any moisture buildup that might foster bacterial growth.

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3. Under the Nails: A Hotbed for Germs

The area underneath our nails often goes unnoticed when it comes to regular hygiene practices. However, failure to clean this area properly can allow bacteria and other microorganisms to thrive. As we go about our daily activities, dirt, bacteria, and debris can accumulate under our nails, making it a prime spot for infection-causing germs.

“When you’re showering, you really need to get under those nails with a scrub brush to get rid of the dirt, debris and buildup,” she said.

To effectively clean under the nails, start by using a nail brush or an old toothbrush. Gently scrub the area using a mild soap and lukewarm water. Pay extra attention to the corners and gaps under the nails, ensuring you remove any dirt or debris. Rinse thoroughly and dry your hands properly, making sure no moisture remains under the nails.

The Bottom Line

Proper skin hygiene is paramount in preventing life-threatening infections. While we often focus on routine cleansing, certain areas of the body are frequently forgotten, including behind the ears, the belly button, and under the nails. These spots can become breeding grounds for bacteria and other harmful microorganisms if left neglected.

To maintain optimal skin health, it is crucial to incorporate these often-overlooked areas into your regular cleansing routine. By paying attention to the behind the ears, belly button, and under the nails, you can effectively prevent the development of infections that could have severe consequences for your well-being. Remember, a comprehensive and diligent approach to skin hygiene is vital for a healthier you.

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